Simon d'Artois wins Canada's 1st ski superpipe gold at X Games
Placed 14th in last year's event
Simon d'Artois exceeded even his own expectations at the 2015 Winter X Games.
The Whistler, B.C., native scored 93.00 points on his third and final run on Sunday to become Canada's first gold medal winner in the men's ski superpipe competition.
D'Artois, who was competing in just his second X Games, placed 14th in last year's event after failing to qualify for the finals.
"All I wanted to do was make the finals this year, my expectations were just to ski as well as I could," said D'Artois. "My goal is to be a consistent skier. I think it showed tonight and helped me get the gold."
The 22-year-old qualified for this year's finals after finishing fourth in the elimination round with his top score of 85.00. He trusted the same run in the finals to beat the field.
"I definitely threw my best run that I could at qualifying and for me to win gold with that run is pretty awesome," said d'Artois.
D'Artois held the best score heading into the final run with a 90.33, which he threw down on his first time down the pipe in the medal round. But he knew the gold medal wasn't guaranteed yet with the remaining riders saving their best for last.
France's Kevin Rolland, who finished second at the 2014 Winter X Games, recorded a score of 92.33 and American Alex Ferreira scored a 91.66 to put the pressure back on the Canadian.
"The first run set the bar," said D'Artois. "(But) even after the first I was like, 'man there's two more runs that everybody has to take.' I was nervous all the way up until the end.
"I knew what I had to do if I wanted to win. I stuck to my gameplan and I was rewarded."
Rolland finished with his second straight silver while Ferreira took home bronze for the second year in a row.
Calgary's Noah Bowman, the 2012 X Games silver medallist, finished sixth. Olympic silver medallist Mike Riddle of Sherwood Park, Alta., was eighth.